The Passion of Writing

“So you like writing?” A question that was posed to me by an acquaintance. I hesitantly replied, “Yes” because there are always those on and off days. For example, I am  in the process of writing a paper for another class right now that I’m not super enthusiastic about.

The purpose of the paper is a critical analysis on the topic of exchange, and I have to use different readings to support my argument. Another typical college paper. The problem is I’m not a fan of the topic because, to be honest, I don’t care about it. I see how the topic is relevant to my life and everybody else’s, but I still can’t bring myself to care. The problem with not caring about the topic is getting invested in the paper. It’s been reiterated again and again that the best writing comes from topics that the author is passionate about. I think this lack of passion shows because as I read over the paragraphs and I think they sound horrible; It doesn’t sound coherent and I don’t know what more to do.

These situations can be difficult because it is easy to write something that I’m passionate about if given a choice, but what about all those times where there are no choices?

I think it’s about faking it. There has to be some point about the topic that I find interesting and I can focus on that more and be really invested into it. Subconsciously, that’s what I think I did. One of the readings is about coffee and a large chunk of my paper is about coffee. Is it because I thought this paper related most closely to the topic or is it because my subconscious knew that I like coffee and I find it interesting? But the article was not my favorite read, but it was interesting to read about how coffee shapes culture.

It also helps to do some brainstorming especially when the prompt sounds blegh at first. I wrote some of the different points that I had to generate some ideas, and I found something that worked. Of course, it always help to start writing because it’s also part of the process of generating ideas. Shitty first drafts.

It’s these times that bring up my love hate relationship with writing. I think it’s a struggle that every writer has because sometimes the thoughts don’t flow out as they should and the dreaded writer’s block occurs.

“So you like writing?” Yes, I do, but it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle coming up with the perfect words too. It doesn’t mean when I see a writing assignment that I scream with joy. There are always those topics that I am not passionate about which make writing an essay harder, but these moments challenge me because it forces me to write well even if I lack the motivation and desire to. It’s easy to write about something that you’re passionate about, but the real challenge comes when you’re not passionate about the topic, and the challenge is part of being a writer.

Melody Ng

Melody is currently a senior studying business.

One thought to “The Passion of Writing”

  1. I absolutely agree with you – sometimes faking it is the only way to get yourself through a paper. Even if that means slightly tweaking the topic, there is just no way to make a paper seem genuine or even interesting if there is not at least a dash of passion in there somewhere.

    Slightly tweaking the topic – as you stated you did with the coffee – can have unintended consequences, however. The professor or GSI could easily read your paper and decide that the deviation from the assigned topic merits you a bad grade. Or it could allow you to get carried away and miss the point of the paper completely.

    I don’t think there’s any avoiding writing papers you’re not interested in as a whole. Sometimes you have to just suck it up and write the damn thing – regardless of how much you hate your life while you’re doing it.

Leave a Reply